Dental Implant – The Basics
Considered the cornerstone of restorative dentistry, a dental implant is an ideal replacement for a missing tooth. It was invented over 50 years ago by Swedish Orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Brånemark. It holds a stellar reputation in the world of dentistry, with most dentists calling it a “gold standard”.
A dental implant is placed into the jawbone surgically, which causes the base to fuse with the bone over time. This is precisely why it is popular and brags a success rate of over 98%.
Parts Of A Dental Implant
An implant is made up of 3 key parts –
- The titanium/zirconia post is surgically embedded into the jaw bone. This grows around and fuses with the bone through a process called “osseointegration”.
- The abutment serves as an attachment between the post and the prosthesis (crown/denture/bridge).
- The prosthesis that sits on top of the implant post. This could be a dental crown, a dental bridge, or even a denture.
What Are The Stages Of A Dental Implant?
Dental implants are placed over a period and in different steps. They’re all mentioned briefly below.
Stage I – The Examination
Patients looking to get fit for a dental implant have to face a thorough screening process. This is because the success of an implant is dependent on several factors. Some of them are –
- The patient’s general and oral health. Conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, osteoporosis, etc. can hamper the success of an implant. Additionally, poor oral health also leads to implant failure.
- Healthy relationships are also imperative. Since the process of dental implant placement can take considerable time, it is important to have strong emotional and moral support.
- The status of the jaw bone. Multiple digital images to assess the quality and quantity of bone. Bone grafts might be suggested to patients with a lack of healthy bone tissue.
Stage II – The Surgery
If your dentist at Le Sueur gives you the all-clear for a dental implant, you move on to the next step. This step involves placing the implant post in your jawbone.
The gum tissue at the site of implant placement is cut open and the bone is exposed. With the help of a surgical drill, space is created and the post is screwed into place.
After your dentist places the implant they will stitch the gums back into place. Each implant placement can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2. The entire procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the dentist’s opinion.
Stage III – The Recovery
This stage of the dental implant process isn’t concerned with post-operative recovery. Patients experience soreness and inflammation at the site of the surgery. This is usually taken care of by over-the-counter medication and cold compresses.
The recovery period is mainly focused on the process of bone fusion – osseointegration. The merging of the bone tissue with the implant creates a secure and sturdy platform for the prosthesis. As mentioned earlier, this is the main reason for an implant’s high success rate.
The recovery period differs between patients. While some patients may take 4-6 weeks for the fusion to occur, some might take up to 12 weeks.
Stage IV – The Abutment
Once your dentist is satisfied with the bone fusion, the next step is to place the abutment – a socket-shaped component. This acts as a shock absorber between the implant post and the prosthesis on top.
Your dentist will take impressions of your oral cavity and send them to a dental lab for manufacturing the prosthesis. This can take about a week.
Stage V – The Final Placement
Once the dental lab sends your dentist the prosthesis (crown/bridge/denture), you will be called in for the final step. The dentist makes final checks and places the prosthetic unit on top of the abutment.
Your dentist will ask you to practice good oral hygiene to take care of the implant. Additionally, they will also recommend that you keep visiting them at regular intervals to assess the status of the dental implant.
Can Dental Implants Be Done In A Day?
Yes, same-day implants exist. Compared to traditional implants which take 5-10 months, same-day implants are fitted in one day. However, multiple factors contribute to the success or failure of same-day dental implants.
Factors Affecting Same-Day Dental Implants
To be fitted for a dental implant in a day, the patient has to be ideal. This means that they should be –
- Overall in good health
- A non-smoker or willing to quit at least 2 months before the implantation
The following characteristics are contraindicated in same-day dental implants –
- Poor oral hygiene or health
- Gum disease or periodontitis
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic diseases
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Unhealthy quality or quantity of bone
Advantages Of Same-Day Dental Implants
A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information explains there is no significant difference in the success rates between same-day and traditional implants. The stability of the radiographic bone level also remains pretty similar.
Some of the advantages associated with implants placed in a day are –
- Immediate restoration
- The fusion of the implant with the bone is better
- The gums and soft tissues heal quicker
- The soft tissue and gum are less likely to recede
- The healing process is also good as long the site of placement is kept free from contaminants.
Disadvantages Of Same-Day Dental Implants
The Maxillofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal state that along with pros, same-day implants also have certain cons.
- While not entirely high risk, evidence suggests that same-day implants have a higher chance of failing than traditional ones.
- Same-day implants showcase more marginal bone loss. This could lead to loosening of the implant, subsequently causing failure.
- Swelling and discomfort after the procedure was completed were more prevalent in same-day implants.
- The same-day approach equates to a longer time in the dental chair.
To assess whether or not you’re a good candidate for a dental implant, get in touch with Le Sueur Family Dental today. Call us at (507) 665-6812.